SKEM HIT FOR SIX IN A CHRISTMAS CRACKER
By Stevie R
Town roared into the play-off positions with a 6-0 win over Skelmersdale United.
Neil Baker made one enforced change to the side that won at Droylsden with Lewis Short returning to replace the injured Jessy Bavanganga.
Skem were bottom of the league but they started the game well and played the ball around nicely early on without particularly threatening Danny Roberts goal.
Blues first chance came on 20 minutes when Billy Sass-Davies headed just over from a corner.
Tim Grice then volleyed over from Rob Stevenson's cross. Leek went close again when Jack Sanders had a header cleared off the line and Niall Maguire hit the loose ball just over the bar,
Just when it looked like Blues would not get the breakthrough before half-time, Rob Stevenson put in a wicked low cross from the right which Skem keeper Liam Boden could only push out into the path of Jordan Johnson who rammed the ball home.
Two minutes later in the last attack of the half it could have been 2-0 when Stevenson broke away again down the right and his cross found the head of Grice, but Boden pulled off a fantastic save from point-blank range to keep the ball out.
Grice was denied again by Boden early in the second half, when he dived full length to keep out his low shot.
The second goal in the 55th minute and that signalled the opening of the floodgates. Marc Grocott broke from midfield and slotted the ball low past Boden for his first goal for the club.
Three minutes later Stevenson, who had caused Skem problems all game long broke clear down the right after a great ball from Billy Reeves, and as Boden came out he lifted the ball over him and into the back of the net.
Baker brought on Aaron Bott, Dan Trickett-Smith and Charlie Walford and it wasn't long before Bott was in the thick of the action.
He made it 4-0 after 75 minutes when he robbed a defender, ran on goal and slipped the ball past Boden.
Bott scored his second in the 88th minute as he outpaced a defender and then rounded the keeper to score in style.
Two minutes later Bott almost made it a hat-trick but his low shot was saved by Boden. The loose ball rebounded to Stevenson who had a simple tap-in to make it 6-0.
So, a great start to the festive programme as Blues record a fourth straight league win and move into the play-off positions for Christmas, next up is a trip to Chasetown on Boxing Day.
1. Danny Roberts
2. Niall Green
3. Lewis Short (15. Charlie Walford, 76)
4. Marc Grocott
5. Billy Sass-Davies
6. Jack Sanders
7. Niall Maguire (16. Dan Trickett-Smith, 66)
8. Billy Reeves
9. Tim Grice (17. Aaron Bott, 66)
10. Jordan Johnson
11. Rob Stevenson
Unused subs: 12. Scott Lycett, 14. Sam Hall
Man of the Match: Marc Grocott